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Research Guide to Age/Aging Statistics

Internet Resources
Journal Articles
Other data sources

Internet Resources

Sites were selected based upon the authority and/or reputation of the issuing body in addition to the quality and organization of the website. Federal organizations, medical associations, and private organizations are included.

Statistics available
Administration on Aging
AoA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. AoA is the Federal focal point and advocate agency for older persons and their concerns.
The Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics. (the Forum) is made up of nine federal agencies that produce or use statistics on aging and was established in the mid-1980s to encourage cooperation and collaboration among federal agencies to improve the quality and utility of data on the aging population.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Agency of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) whose mission is to promote health and quality of life by preventing and controlling disease, injury, and disability.
The Commonwealth Fund
Private foundation that supports independent research on health and social issues and makes grants to improve health care practice and policy. The Fund is dedicated to helping people become more informed about their health care, and improving care for vulnerable populations such as children, elderly people, low-income families, minority Americans, and the uninsured. In connection with its grantmaking, the Fund issues more than 50 reports each year on the topics listed in the left-hand navigation bar of the page.
  • Frail Elders (Reports and Articles published in professional literature)
  • Search the Publications Database
National Center for Health Statistics
(NCHS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is responsible for the collection, analysis, and dissemination of statistics on the nature and extent of the health, illness, and disability of the U.S. population
Social Security Administration's Office of Policy
Responsible for conducting policy analysis, research and evaluation to produce useful, objective, credible and timely data and policy options.
  • The Office of Policy produces a variety of publications designed to provide a base of information to support SSA's policy development and policy analysis work.

Journal Articles

"Produced by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), AgeLine provides bibliographic coverage of social gerontology--the study of aging in social, psychological, health-related, and economic contexts. The delivery of health care for the older population and its associated costs and policies is particularly well covered, as are public policy, employment, and consumer issues." Coverage available from 1978 - present.

AgeLine does not include actual statistical data, only publication descriptions (search on subject keyword "statistical data" to identify statistical publications in AgeLine).

MEDLINE is the National Library of Medicine's premier database covering the fields of medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, the health care system, and the preclinical sciences. MEDLINE contains bibliographic citations and abstracts from around 4,000 biomedical journals.

The most common way of accessing the MEDLINE database is through either PubMed (tutorial on searching PubMed) or Ovid MEDLINE (documentation on searching Ovid MEDLINE).

The print version of this database is known as Index Medicus. Print volumes of Index Medicus from 1879-2004 are available in the Crerar Library Reference Collection at Z6660.I4.


Use the Library Catalog, to find books on age and aging. For electronic books, search for your topic in Lens and then refine your results by the formats Electronic Resource and Book. Here are some suggested topics:

Old age

Try to identify general texts on your topic to help you find the data you need. Excellent data is buried within textbooks; just because a textbook has not been labeled as a statistical resource does not mean that important numerical data is not included within the work. You will need to browse textbook and textbook chapters for tables and graphs on your topic in order to retrieve desired information.

Other data sources

Statistical Universe

Major tool for statistical research. Covers data from U.S. federal and state governments; university research centers, private associations and organizations, and independent research groups; and international and intergovernmental organizations. Records include abstracts, with full text of selected U.S. federal and state publications available from as early as 1995.

Statistical Universe is the online equivalent of the following resources available in print. You will need to consult the print version in order to conduct historical research.

American statistics index (ASI)
Reading Rm, floor 1 Regenstein Z1223.Z7A51 (1973-)

Index to international statistics (IIS)
Reading Rm, floor 1 Regenstein (1983-)

Statistical Abstract of the United States
At multiple locations. Please check holdings. HA202.A2 (1878-)

Statistical reference index (SRI)
Reading Rm, floor 1 Regenstein Z7554.U5S71(1980-)